Monday, April 18, 2022

Jesse Q. Sutanto Interview - Four Aunties and a Wedding

Photo Content from Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q. Sutanto is the author of Dial A for Aunties, The Obsession, and Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Oxford University, though she hasn't found a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. The film rights to her women’s fiction, Dial A for Aunties, was bought by Netflix in a competitive bidding war. The novel will be out in April 2021. Jesse lives in Indonesia with her husband, her two daughters, and her ridiculously large extended family, many of whom live just down the road.


Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book? 
This is such a tough question! It’s like deciding what’s my all-time favorite dish. Hmm, for suspense/thriller, it would have to be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. For fantasy, it’s Babel by RF Kuang. For romcom, The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

Greatest thing you learned in school. 
How to write essays REALLY FAST, three hours before the deadline.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 
Twitter. I really need to uninstall it.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us? 
I think it’s something that preserves our humanity. It’s one of the ways we pass on our history and preserve it for generations to come.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us? 
I have just finished writing a comedic mystery, VERA WONG’S UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR MURDERERS, and I’m so excited about it!

In your newest book; FOUR AUNTIES AND A WEDDING, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it. 
Following the events from Dial A For Aunties, Meddy and Nathan go to Oxford, England, to get married. Of course, since the aunties are involved, we know that nothing can go right, especially not when they may have hired a mafia family to cater to the wedding.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel? 
First and foremost, I hope that they’re laughing hard! And second of all, I hope that they get a glimpse into my culture and see how varied Asian cultures are.

What part of Meddy did you enjoy writing the most? 
Her interactions with the aunties are always my favorite, because Meddy is often the voice of reason, but that voice is always drowned out by the aunties’ shenanigans.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
Can you imagine Big Aunt plopped into Bridgerton? I would love for that to happen. She would take the ton in London by storm.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride? 
Probably Singapore. I can’t remember, to be honest.

What are 4 things you never leave home without? 
Vaseline, my allergy pills, my phone, and my watch.

Best date you've ever had? 
When my husband and I started dating, it was summertime in Oxford and it was so beautiful. The sun would set at 10pm and we’d just stay out eating and enjoying the gorgeous sunset and not even realize it was so late. That was probably the best summer ever.

First Heartbreak? 
Haha, when I was fifteen I dated a boy behind my parents’ back and it was honestly so much pressure. I hated feeling so scared that someone might see us. The pressure finally got to us and we broke it off.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know? 
When hippos poop, they fan their tail so the poop is sprayed everywhere. I …don’t know why I know that.

  • Aunties in purple gowns complete with komodo dragon fascinators!
  • Aunties in Oxford, England!
  • …speaking with what they think is an English accent!
  • Mafia!
  • Using Meddy’s wedding as a chance to take out a target.
  • The aunties choosing to (of course) fight back instead of calling the cops.
  • The aunties maybe resorting to kidnapping.
  • Ma’s Traditional Chinese Medicine make an appearance.
  • We meet Nathan’s parents.
  • …with the aunties. So much awkwardness!
Writing Behind the Scenes
I am a fan of writing very fast, and each book has taken me less than two months to write. The reason for this is because I am very insecure and have a very mean inner voice who’s always telling me that my writing is terrible, so if I don’t “outrun” this voice, it will take over the writing and I will give up on the manuscript. I have a graveyard folder of unfinished manuscripts that got swallowed up by this inner voice!

Meddy Chan has been to countless weddings, but she never imagined how her own would turn out. Now the day has arrived, and she can't wait to marry her college sweetheart, Nathan. Instead of having Ma and the aunts cater to her wedding, Meddy wants them to enjoy the day as guests. As a compromise, they find the perfect wedding vendors: a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company just like theirs. Meddy is hesitant at first, but she hits it off right away with the wedding photographer, Staphanie, who reminds Meddy of herself, down to the unfortunately misspelled name.

Meddy realizes that is where their similarities end, however, when she overhears Staphanie talking about taking out a target. Horrified, Meddy can't believe Staphanie and her family aren't just like her own, they are The Family--actual mafia, and they're using Meddy's wedding as a chance to conduct shady business. Her aunties and mother won't let Meddy's wedding ceremony become a murder scene--over their dead bodies--and will do whatever it takes to save her special day, even if it means taking on the mafia.

The aunties are back, fiercer than ever and ready to handle any catastrophe--even the mafia--in this delightful and hilarious sequel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Dial A for Aunties.

You can purchase Four Aunties and a Wedding at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


  1. Handmade gifts are always the most memorable ones

  2. I gave my wife her first e-reader. I think she's used it every day since then.

  3. I gave my Aunt a Christmas present that I had made myself.

  4. I gave my niece a mini moped when she was young, and it she had such fun using it.

  5. I gave my niece framed pictures of her parents shortly after they passed away.

  6. I would so enjoy reading this book and I like the cover too.

  7. I gave live plants for a wedding gift for an outdoor event

  8. "What’s the most memorable gift you’ve ever given someone?" Hmm. Nice stationery!

  9. When we were first married, I made my husband an album for his hunting pictures.